More kindness during the holidays

By Lisa Karstetter

As part of Yahoo!’s “You in?” program to spread random acts of kindness, we headed out on Christmas Eve to make a positive impact on the Quincy, Washington community. We handed out 50 - (16 piece) boxes of chicken and jojo's plus a box of fresh baked cookies to those standing in line at the local food bank. Then we loaded back up at the store with more chicken and cookies and went to the labor camps where the real need is. Most of these are located 5-10 miles out of town. We went house to house (trailer to trailer). Two ladies started crying...and one hugged my husband and me over and over. It was very touching.

Then today the guys went out with another van full of food and delivered it to some other areas we couldn't get to on Christmas Eve. We also took bags of stuff we were told that most request at the food bank. Bread, cereal, peanut butter and beans. So we gave them a box of chicken, jojo's and a bag with other necessities in it.

What we were so surprised to see is that many don't have transportation to even get to the food bank in town. I think that is why they were so touched. We are going to go out and do it again tomorrow and target another area.

Also while we were waiting for chicken at Akins Deli we randomly walked around the busy store and eyed people shopping that looked like they could use a little help (monetary wise). We notified the sales clerks to charge their groceries at checkout to our account and hand them a kindness card that encourages them to “pay it forward” by doing something nice for someone else. We weren't around to see but I heard there were 6 really happy and grateful families.

The surprising part to this whole story is that when I went up for communion on Christmas Eve at our church, our pastor said to me, “Lisa, I saw firsthand the way you and your company touched someone's life today. Thank you for doing that. God Bless you.” I went back to my seat wondering what he was talking about. After church he told me that he was witness to one of the store charges and could see what a truly unexpected gift it was for a family that he could see desperately needed it and it touched him as well.

I wish my children could have seen the woman cry over being given chicken, jojo's and cookies. It would have given them perspective as to how well they have it and how sometimes it's not what or how much you give......it's just the act of caring about those less fortunate and wanting to make a small difference in other people's lives.

This was a truly moving experience, and I'm so thankful to be able to participate in this You In? campaign. I have NEVER been more proud to work at Yahoo!

I’m so touched to see that these random acts of kindness really are spreading around the world. Nearly 300,000 people have already added their kind acts to the map at kindness.yahoo.com. To add yours or find more inspiration, check out kindness.yahoo.com.